Wrapping up 2020

I normally don’t do posts like this, but given the nature of 2020, I felt that it was warranted. After all, I haven’t really posted about much beyond writing projects, Book ’em Danno, and Murderville.

So, what about 2020?

Well, first of all it should be noted that I achieved all but one of my half-assed resolutions (which I won’t be making for 2021; if 2020 taught me anything, not getting dead and having a good time is enough of a challenge). Not getting dead and having a good time is difficult during a pandemic, but I managed. I also did a better job of reading consistently by using a habit tracker and I did better with the whole self-care thing. I did not clean out my sewing drawer. Honestly, I don’t even want to think about it.

There’s a lot of things I don’t want to think about. 2020 was exhausting and I’m grateful for the things I was able to accomplish.

I managed to cross off two items from my Big To Do List. The Big To Do List is a short list of things that are in some fashion daunting for me to do, either they’re cost prohibitive (because I am usually money-less) or time consuming/labor intensive or in some cases, virtually impossible. But even before this year went weird, I’d decided that I was going to buy new glasses (my other pair is only 13 years old) and get the tattoo cover-up I’ve been thinking about for years. The pandemic added another degree of difficulty, but I can’t deny that I feel pretty proud of myself getting them done.

I also finally went to the doctor about my persistent knee pain. Turns out I have severe tendonitis in both knees and ended up doing physical therapy for six weeks. It’s better, but I’m still not back to normal yet.

This doctor’s visit also informed me that I’d lost the battle with my blood pressure and needed to be put on meds for it. Looks like I can’t handle the stress of a pandemic too well. Who knew?

In other disappointing news, my writing really suffered this year. It took four months for me to revise The Support Group Meets on Wednesday and two months to write the novella Early Snow. Along with two entries for a 100 word contest and NaNo, that’s all she wrote. Literally. It’s a very good thing that I had Murderville done a couple of years ago. This soul sucking year just exacerbated the writing malaise that’s been plaguing me the last couple of years.

On the other hand, I kept up with Book ’em, Danno. When I first started it, I wasn’t sure I’d make it through the first season. Now I’m half-way through the second. The last couple of months have been a bit of a struggle, but I’ve been getting it done and it’s been getting a decent number of plays. That’s always encouraging.

So, yeah. 2020 has been a thing on all sorts of levels. Personally, I managed a few victories to prevent it from being a total loss.

And as foolhardy as it sounds, I’m going to try to build on that for 2021.

Book ’em Danno–Episode 19

Just about half-way through season 2 with episode 11, “Leopard on the Rock”, and episode 12, “The Devil and Mr. Frog”. Five-O has their hands full. First they have to babysit the uninvited, petty tyrant leader of an unnamed country who is at the center of multiple plots. Then they have to track down a kidnapper in possession of the ransom money and the father who paid it thinks getting the money back is more important than getting justice for his son.

There’s just a whole lot of terrible and questionable people ’round here.

Thank goodness the Five-O guys are on the up and up.

Most of the time.

Listen on Soundcloud and iTunes

Anyway, here’s Steve undercover for a hot minute.

December Writing Projects

Now that the joy that is NaNoWriMo is over, I’m going to switch my focus to some shorter pieces.

I’m going to attempt to write something for that anthology that I saw a couple of months ago and researched. The deadline is at the end of the month and in the olden days, that was totally doable for me, short story-wise.

I’m not exactly confident of my chances should I actually finish something suitable, but it won’t be a waste of time to give it a try.

In similar news, I’ve come across another anthology with a deadline in February that looks interesting. I may also start plotting a story suitable for that this month as well.

I think that between the holidays and being understaffed at the library for most of the month, this will be enough to keep me feeling productive while not overwhelming or stressing me out.

Because I’m tired of being overwhelmed and stressed out this year.

You know what’s not stressful? Book ’em, Danno. Episode 18 is available for you listening pleasure. Two fun episodes with lots of hired killers and fabulous guest stars. It’s the perfect way to chase away the holiday blues. Speaking of holidays, episode 19 should go live right around Christmas. And I’m sure it will be a gift! Please like, share, subscribe, force upon your friends and family, and otherwise show your love and devotion. It is so very appreciated.

Season 5 of Murderville is right around the corner and the promo is live for everyone now. So, if you’re not a patron, now is the perfect time to treat yourself and get in on the final season. $1 an episode lets you read. $2 an episode lets you read and gets you a sweet bonus every other month, like this month, which will go live on December 15th.

NaNo 2020 Winner!

This year’s NaNo was interesting.

I went in with only a rough overall idea of what I was doing so I ended up outlining as I went. I did my usual pattern of 2,000 words on work days and 4,000 words on my days off, though I did end up spending one Sunday writing pretty much all day for a gain of over 7,000 words so I could hit 50,000 before I had to record podcasts later that week. It worked. I hit 50,000 words on November 18th.

However, I didn’t finish the first draft of The Supervillains Will Save You until November 29th. It’s the latest I’ve finished a first draft in a NaNo in quite some time. It’s also the most I’ve written for a NaNo first draft in quite a while, finishing up with 64,222 words.

This NaNo was stressful, to be sure. In addition to outlining as I went, which has its own kind of stress, my non-writing life had its own challenges as well.

I thought I’d be doing three podcasts this month, but ended up only doing two, which was a break in my favor. However, the library went back to curbside service in the middle of the month and the stress of that definitely put a cramp in my writing style. It eventually smoothed out and I was able to actually get some writing done at the library, which helped a lot.

In conclusion, I once again found a way to make it work and ended up with a first draft of something that I kind of like and will only need some minor work because of course I realized important things that should have been put into place early in the story when I’m half-way through with it.

Whatever. I’ll take the win.

Book ’em, Danno–Episode 18

Episode 18 has two more Season 2 gems. First, Steve travels all the way to Singapore to retrieve a witness whose life is in danger in “The Singapore File”. Then Steve deals with an ambitious state’s attorney hopeful who has no trouble smearing a reformed hood in “All the King’s Horses.”

Marj Dusay and James Gregory are both back in different, larger roles and we are all better for it.

Listen in on Soundcloud and iTunes.

I don’t have any pics from these eps, so here’s a pic of Danno being cute.

November Writing Projects

In the last week of October I managed to come up with something to do for NaNoWriMo. I decided that my best bet was to go with the sequel to The Support Group Meets on Wednesday. I’m tentatively calling it The Supervillains Will Save You, which is not ideal, but what in my life is?

I was able to break down a basic plot outline surprisingly quickly and I’ve fleshed it out a bit so I have something a little more substantial to work with, but I think a lot of it is going to be a surprise to me as I go along. Which should be fun.

I have absolutely no idea how I’m going to pull 50,000 words out of my hat this year, not only because writing has been hard anyway, but also because the day job has been more demanding and I’m currently working on three podcasts.

You know what? It’s fine. I’m at my happiest when I’m driving myself crazy with stress. Makes me feel alive.

In other news, I do have something of an idea for that anthology I want to submit to, but I have to admit that my confidence took a hit reading the previous anthology for research. I’m not sure I’ve got the chops to come up with something that isn’t completely wasting their time. Especially given the struggle I’ve had lately with any and all writing.

But as I always say, one catastrophe at a time. Let me get through NaNo first.

And while I’m doing that, you can be listening to episode 17 of Book ’em, Danno, which just went live. It’ll be a great way to kill time while you wait for episode 18 to drop at the end of the month, fingers crossed. Like, subscribe, heart, share, comment, harass friends and family, put it on a billboard, any show of love is appreciated.

And while I’m doing that, you can be listening to episode 17 of Book ’em, Danno, which just went live. It’ll be a great way to kill time while you wait for episode 18 to drop at the end of the month, fingers crossed. Like, subscribe, heart, share, comment, harass friends and family, put it on a billboard, any show of love is appreciated.

We may be in the final months of the year and in between seasons of Murderville, but that doesn’t mean that there’s not something to look forward to. The season 5 promo will be available to patrons on November 11th, 3 whole weeks before non-patrons get a glimpse. So if you don’t want to wait until December to find out what’s going down in the last season of Murderville, then become a patron now. $1 an episode lets you read and $2 an episode gets you a sweet bonus every other month.

 

Book ’em, Danno–Episode 17

Season 2 of Hawaii Five-O continues with episode 7 “Sweet Terror” and episode 8 “King Kamehameha Blues”. In the former we have a fun terror plot run by an eccentric bad-guy-for-hire and in the latter we have a group of college kids “putting the squeeze on the establishment” with a daring theft.

The fun part of watching these episodes in order is that you get pairs like this one in which I really loved one episode and totally loathed the other. “Sweet Terror” features Theodore Bikel as a fun villain with a certain air of sophistication and Soon Tek Oh is back playing another not-so-nice character. “King Kamehameha Blues” just straight up gives me the blues.

You can listen to my raving and ranting on Soundcloud or iTunes.

Instead of a picture from one of the episodes, here’s a pic of King Kamehameha I’s cloak. You can read all about how it was made here.

Image from Hawaii Alive

October Writing Projects

It’s October and we all know what that means. It’s time to get spooky, get creepy, and plan out our NaNoWriMo project.

Well, I got the first two.

I have no idea what I’m going to do for NaNo this year.

Normally, I at least know what project I’m going to work on, even if I haven’t thought about it very much. Sometimes I know months in advance what I plan to work on in November. This year…nada.

The most likely candidates are either a sequel to The Support Group Meets on Wednesday or this random idea I got for a young adult novel. (Fucking what? You don’t write YA.) Trouble is that I’m not particularly enthused about either and I’m not sure either one could carry me to 50,000 words.

Honestly, I’m not even sure I want to do NaNo this year. But I’m particularly stubborn about certain things and maintaining my streaks is one of them. I should at least attempt year 17.

In other, more positive news, I’ve been reading an anthology that’s related to the one that I’d like to submit a story for, provided I can come up with one that fits, and last month I managed to finish not one, but two entries for the 100 word story contest.

That little bit of progress is encouraging, even if it is most likely a wasted entry fee.

It’s been a while since I’ve wasted one, though.

You know what’s not a waste? Murderville. And the last season is coming up. On October 13th, patrons will get to read the preview story for the final tale, so become a patron now because you don’t want to miss it. $1 an episode lets you read. $2 an episode gets you a sweet bonus every other month, like the one going live on the 25th.

Also live is Episode 16 of Book ’em, Danno. Ain’t no rest for Five-O because of the wicked and Eric Braeden is a hypnotic man. Give it a listen while you’re waiting for Episode 17 to go live at the end of the month. And remember to share it with your friends, family, enemies, strangers, co-workers, acquaintances, that one guy from high school, and any other unsuspecting human.

Book ’em Danno–Episode 16

I’ve got two more second season episodes for you. “Savage Sunday” pulls Five-O in on their day off to take on some Latin American revolutionaries and “A Bullet for McGarrett” features a seriously mesmerizing Eric Braeden. But then, isn’t he always? There’s a soap opera worthy subplot that has nothing to do with the soap opera vet and a surprise appearance by Wo Fat. Listen on Soundcloud and iTunes to see which episode has which.

Apologies for the background noise. The neighborhood insisted on being particularly loud while I was recording. As if I’m not loud enough as it is.

Please enjoy this picture of Kono on his day off as compensation.

September Projects

It seems like after March and April, the months have just flown by and I have very little to show for it when it comes to writing.

Writing has been hard for me the past few years and the pandemic did not help. Sorry, ‘Rona. I know you tried by giving me a month off work, but it turns out I couldn’t capitalize on that like I’d hoped/planned/wanted.

However, as slow as I’m working and as little as I’m working on, I still count progress as progress and accomplishments as accomplishments. I keep hoping these little bright spots will lead me to the light.

This month I should wrap up the first draft of Early Snow. It’s turned out to be a decent novella, I think.

And then I’m going to work on a couple of short projects.

As luck would have it, a contest and an anthology looking for submissions both crossed my path. The contest challenges folks to write a story in 100 words, which I used to do all the time when I was doing fandom drabbles. And the anthology is a themed horror affair, something I’ve always found myself gifted at. I don’t presently have ideas for either of them, but the contest deadline isn’t until October and the anthology submission deadline isn’t until December. I have faith that I will be able to come up with something for both of these before the month is out.

Sad that it feels like I’m overestimating myself.

The bad news is that Murderville: The Coldest Case has ended. The very good news is that patrons can get the eBook on September 15th. And it’s not too late for you to become a patron, too. There’s one season left of Murderville, so don’t wait. Become a patron now. $1 an episode lets you read and gets you the eBook. $2 an episode lets you read, gets you the ebook, and gets you a sweet bonus every other month.

Episode 15 of Book ’em, Danno is live and episode 16 will arrive at the end of the month. In the latest, Wo-Fat is back, and there’s some trouble with an uncooperative witness. Listen, rate, review, share, like, tell your friends, shove it in your family’s ears. Any support is appreciated. In other podcasting news, I’m back on Eventually Supertrain, chatting with Dan about Automan. Listen in. We’re delightful.